After surviving the horrors of the Holocaust – in ghettos, on death marches, and in concentration camps – a young couple seeks refuge in Canada. They settle into a new life, certain that the terrors of their past are behind them. They build themselves a cozy little cottage on a lake in Muskoka, a cottage that becomes emblematic of their victory over the Nazis. The charming retreat is a safe haven, a refuge from haunted memories.
That is, until a single act of unspeakable violence defiles their sanctuary. Poking around the dark crawl space beneath their cottage, they discover a wooden crate, nailed tightly shut and almost hidden from view. Nothing could have prepared them for the horror of the crate’s contents – or how the peace and tranquility of their lives would be shattered.
Now, their daughter, Deborah Vadas Levison, an award-winning journalist, tells the extraordinary account of her parents’ ordeals, both in one of the darkest times in world history and their present-day lives. Written in searing, lyrical prose, THE CRATE: A Story Of War, A Murder, And Justice examines man’s seemingly limitless capacity for evil… but also, his capacity for good.
Reading Debbie’s incredible story and knowing it is her own personal family history, made me feel a few extra goosebumps. The fact that her parents were survivors of the Holocaust and lived through the most horrid and unthinkable crimes against humanity in the most brave, courageous, and intrepid fashion was inspirational and heart wrenching at the same time.
There was a point in her story when she sat at the kitchen table while her mother sliced and layered potatoes and eggs in a pan. She listened to the detailed accounts of torture her parents endured and I really felt like I was sitting at the table next to Debbie. She writes with such passion and spirit that as I read her detailed descriptions of her family’s past, I felt tears trickle down my cheeks.
We’ve read so many books about this time period but there’s a difference between writers who have researched this time period to write about and those who have lived through it first hand. With every personal account, story, and memory that Debbie shares with the power of her pen, we could feel the love, loss and need to share with others. It was chilling to read about how the dead body found in a crate below her family’s cottage and the incredible loss it was to the family was strongly connected to the pain and suffering endured by her own family.
We highly recommend this story to anyone who loves true crime & stories about the Holocaust time period. Thank you Deborah Vadas Levison for sending us a copy to review.
For as long as I can remember I’ve dreamed of being an author, the same way some little kids dream of being ballerinas or Major Leaguers. Well, I don’t pirouette, and I sure can’t hit a ball, but from time to time I do come up with a pretty good metaphor.
I’m pretty sure my love of storytelling began one summer night years ago, as I sat by a camp bonfire and listened to a counselor tell a ghost story, The Monkey’s Paw, which made my heart pound and my imagination run wild. The memory still makes me shiver.
Now, I’m thrilled to share my first book with the world. It’s a true crime with echoes of the Holocaust, called THE CRATE: A Story of War, a Murder and Justice.